“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’” -John 5:8 (NIV)
There are many things which can hold us back. It could be things such as our past, our perceived limitations, or our own cynicism. When we cling onto these things, we use them to justify our inaction when God calls to do a certain task. But when we wallow in our self-pity, we are essentially depriving ourselves. Our woeful attitudes will become a hindrance to the redemptive work of God in our lives. We, because of our own unwillingness, will fail to see the wonderful plan that God has for us unfold in our lives. It will cause our faith in Christ to stagnate and decline as well, for by continuing to grasp onto our qualms, we have deliberately shut any opportunity for Christ to build up our faith in Him.
Do we doubt the power of God? He stands supreme over the universe. He can calm the roaring oceans and raise the dead from their graves. Through His death and resurrection, the battle over sin and death is won and in Him we have victory over all our circumstances. When He tells us to do something, it isn’t so that He can watch us fall. His plans for us are for our good; to guarantee us a hope and a future. All that He requires of us to do is to step out in faith knowing that He is the one who enables us and who will preserve us on the path He has called us to walk. What are the “mats” in our lives? What are those attitudes in our hearts which chain us to the ground and prevent us from living abundantly in the life God has graciously given to us? When we surrender those attitudes to Christ and make the conscious choice to “get up” in faith, He will take us on a journey that will not only surpass our wildest dreams, but will open our eyes to see the world in the light of His eternity and never-failing love. Those who are slaves to their mats cripple and limit themselves. But those who heed the voice of Christ will be able to taste the joy and freedom of living in His glory and loving provision. Our mats will become a testimony for others to see that, though once bound, we now walk because of the power of Christ in us.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.